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NY Jets have multiple first-round trade options to consider

Joe Douglas
Joe Douglas, Getty Images

“Trader Joe” Douglas could look to move the New York Jets out of No. 10

The NFL Draft is one week away and the New York Jets own the 10th overall pick. Georgia tight end Brock Bowers is currently the betting favorite to be selected, but Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze or any of the top tackles could also be in play.

The Jets don’t have a glaring hole to fill after signing tackle Tyron Smith and wide receiver Mike Williams. However, to seriously compete for a championship in 2024, they need to get more impact from their first-round pick than they did last year from Will McDonald.

Situated at No. 10, New York is caught in a unique position. It’s unlikely Odunze will fall that far, while most of the top tackles are projected to still be available in the mid-teens. This is why a trade could make sense for the Jets. The question is whether they should move up or move back.

Let’s discuss the Jets’ options for both paths. First, I’ll go over what it would cost to move up, and then what the Jets could get if they move back.

Trading Up

Trading up in the draft can be costly, especially when moving into the top 10. The Jets have two possibilities worth considering: moving up one or two spots or trying to trade all the way up to the fifth overall pick to land an elite prospect.

The less costly option would be to move up to the ninth or eighth overall pick. The Eagles did this last year and are happy with the results. Philadelphia sent Chicago the 10th overall pick and a 2024 fourth-rounder to move up to 9th and draft defensive tackle Jalen Carter. The Jets could do the same or package both of their fourth-round picks to get up to eighth overall. Using the 72nd pick, the Jets could conceivably get up to the 7th overall pick.

The other option is much more exciting. Last month, Daniel Jeremiah proposed the Jets trade a future second-round pick with the 10th overall pick to move up to 5th. After moving up, the Jets selected wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., who is widely viewed as the best prospect in the draft. Even if Harrison is gone, Malik Nabers is viewed as a similar level of player with several teams ranking him as the WR1.

Historically, trading up rarely works out. As ESPN Analytics Writer Seth Walder broke down here, the player acquired by moving up rarely generates more value than those taken with the picks they traded.

All rules have exceptions, however. The Chiefs or Bills likely don’t regret moving up to select their superstar quarterbacks. Neither do the Texans or Eagles who landed the Defensive Rookie of the Year and the runner-up by trading up last year.

The Jets are in win-now mode with Aaron Rodgers at 40 years old and management on the hot seat. Parting with a fourth-round pick feels like a small price to pay to guarantee the player they want. Meanwhile, a future pick may not be their problem if they fail to win this season.

Trading up to land a star player is always a fun option. However, trading back could provide the Jets more value in 2024 and beyond.

Trading Back

Projecting a trade-back is much more difficult. There are more trade partners and the lower value of the picks gives teams more options when preparing packages.

In this article, I will look at three trade-back options:

  1. Trading back to 13 with the Las Vegas Raiders
  2. Trading back to 18 with the Cincinnati Bengals
  3. Trading back for a future first-round pick

Option 1

The first option has the Jets moving back three spots with the Las Vegas Raiders. Per the Jimmy Johnson trade value chart, the Jets could add the 77th overall pick in exchange. This is fairly consistent with recent history as the Cowboys traded back from 10th to 12th in 2021 and received the 84th overall pick in return.

This move would let the Raiders jump the Vikings and Broncos, who may also need a quarterback. Meanwhile, the Jets would still have plenty of great options. Several of the draft’s top tackles, wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr., and possibly even tight end Brock Bowers will likely be available at No. 13. The Jets would come away in possession of the 72nd and 77th overall picks in the third round, which is worth slightly more than the 47th overall pick.

The Jets could move back fewer spots if they include their third- or fourth-round picks in a swap. At that point, however, the benefit for either team drops unless a specific player slides.

Option 2

The second option has the Jets dropping to the late teens to acquire a second-round pick. Using the trade value chart, the Bengals are the first team the Jets can trade back with and acquire a second-round pick without including another pick. The Jets would send the 10th overall pick and receive the 18th and 49th picks.

The closest recent trade to this was in 2022 when the Commanders received the 16th, 98th, and 120th picks from the Saints in exchange for the 11th pick. This trade was great value for the Saints but is probably not something the Jets hope to emulate.

Alternatively, the Jets could package one of their other picks and not move back as far. I discussed a potential Colts trade here and why Indianapolis would want to move up. In the proposed deal, the Jets would send the 10th and 72nd overall picks to the Colts and receive the 15th, 46th, and 117th picks.

Option 3

The last option would have the Jets drop into the 20s to add a future first-round pick. While intriguing, this option is unlikely as the Jets are in win-now mode for 2024. Still, the Jets could get an offer they can’t refuse.

The Giants provided an excellent template to follow in 2021. They traded the 11th overall pick to the Bears in exchange for the 20th pick and a fifth-round pick in 2021 as well as the Bears’ first- and fourth-round picks in 2022. The Bears used the 11th pick on quarterback Justin Fields, who has since been traded for a sixth-round pick. Meanwhile, the Giants selected wide receiver Kadarius Toney with the 20th pick in 2021, and the 2022 first-round pick landed at No. 7, where they drafted offensive tackle Evan Neal.

In the end, the trade didn’t work for either team as none of the players selected lived up to their draft status. Nonetheless, this trade was a massive net positive for the Giants in terms of pick value. For moving back just nine spots in 2021, they received a top 10 pick in 2022 along with two additional Day 3 picks. Overall, based on the eventual pick slots, the Giants received 2,446 points on the trade chart while the Bears received 1,250. However, unless a quarterback slides, the Jets will likely need to move back even further for a similar haul.

The Jets could also use this option as the precursor to another blockbuster deal. With wide receivers Tee Higgins and Brandon Aiyuk rumored to potentially be available, the Jets could opt to add a future first-round pick to facilitate a trade.

What will the Jets do?

Trades are becoming more common in the NFL and that is especially true regarding the draft. Joe Douglas is no exception, as he has traded a first-round pick in three of his four drafts. Meanwhile, the 10th overall pick is a prime spot for trades as it has been moved in five of the last seven drafts.

Anything can happen with the draft seven days away. The Jets don’t have any gaping holes to fill but could use help everywhere on offense. It’ll be up to Douglas to see how the draft falls and to make a decision.

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1 month ago

Trading up is the biggest gamble a team can make in the draft. So, the question becomes, why would a team want to gamble to that extent? Usually, it’s because the team’s window for Super Bowl contention is closing, and the team is that close to winning it. The media is constantly beating the drums that the Jets are in a “win now” situation like that, but I don’t really see it that way. True, they don’t have their QB of the future yet. but their team is mostly young and has a good prospect of long-term success. Rogers is not the only card they’re holding, but they still have some long-term holes to fill. I think they should stand pat or trade down. Fortune favors the smart.

verge tibbs
verge tibbs
1 month ago

Yea, blewetts nabers review got me on board for a trade up for him but for me only if he slides to like 7 or 8. I think a trade up is only worth the gamble for a pretty much very likely pro bowl level player. I wouldnt trade up for odunze, too big a gap between him n nabers. I still prefer to sit n grab their favorite T prospect. Can still swing a trade for a number 2 wr or have CD return. We all know how important a solid Tackle backup is this year and after this year. I wouldnt bank on bahktiari as he knows he’s an elite talent, i dont see that type of competitor being cool with signing on to be a backup.

Peter Buell
Peter Buell
1 month ago

Top tier is Harrison Jr or Nabers then Odunze behind them.
Imo it would be a good strategy to get one of those 3 and that reciever and Garrett will be the ones on O to keep long term.